D. Randall Faro
Questions Big and Small
There are a lot of interesting but relatively inconsequential questions. For instance:
- If you try to fail and succeed, is it failure or success?
- If a sign on a door reads “keep door closed at all times,” why have a door?
- Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?
- Asked what 3 things one would want if stranded on a desert island, why don’t people say a boat?
- Why does “it's all downhill from here” mean both it will be easy and it’s going to get worse?
- It’s often said that something is out of whack. What’s a whack?
- When does it stop being partly cloudy and start being partly sunny?
- Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?
Then there are deeper, introspective questions. Such as:
- How much freedom should people have?
- What are universal human rights and what makes them so?
- What is friendship and why do we need it?
- Is truth relative, or a matter of opinion?
- What is the purpose or meaning of life?
Kicking around possible answers to the first set of question above could be a party game or just a fun exercise. Wrestling with the second set, the philosophical ones, is significantly more important.
Human beings have the capacity to think . . . to analyze critically so that life together can be organized for the mutual benefit of our planet and all beings upon it. Of course, one of the concerns is whether or not, or why, mutual benefit should be a concern in the first place. Shakespeare addressed this toward the end of Hamlet when he penned: “What is a man, if his chief good and market of his time be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.”
However the thinking prowess of human beings came about, I would make the case that included is an intrinsic responsibility to use such capability responsibly. Unless we work earnestly, valiantly at figuring out what is in fact “responsible,” what is in fact good for the planet and its inhabitants, we are no more than a jackal hunting its next meal.